Chief Executive Officer

Nature of employment: 3-year full-time, pensionable, fixed-term contract. The initial probation period is 6 months.
Location: 6 Mount Street Lower, Dublin, D02 T670 Ireland.
Reg. Charity No.: CHY 12549.
Reporting to: Chairperson, Board of the Discovery Programme.


The Discovery Programme (a company limited by guarantee) is a publicly-funded institution for advanced research in Irish archaeology. As set out in its Memorandum of Association (2015) the main objective of the company is the charitable purpose of benefiting the community by the advancement of culture, heritage and sciences and in particular by:

  • enhancing the understanding of Ireland's past through archaeological and related research in the humanities and sciences;
  • establishing and directing research programmes;
  • promoting such research; and promoting the appreciation of Ireland's archaeological heritage through education and outreach programmes.
  • The Discovery Programme is seeking a candidate for the post of Chief Executive Officer who will successfully lead the organisation through a time of change.

Role and Responsibilities

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) acts as the Company Secretary and follows the duties, powers and functions laid down by the Board in accordance with Article 42(2) of the Company's Articles of Association (2015). The CEO's primary responsibilities are to implement corporate decisions, manage the overall operations and assets of the company, act as the principal point of communication between the Board of Directors and staff and be the public face of the company. The CEO is not a member of the Board of Directors but attends meetings at the invitation of the Board.

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Strategically lead the organisation, in a dynamic way in the context of heritage policy in Ireland.
  • Perform the role of Company Secretary.
  • Perform the role of Chief Accounting Officer by ensuring that all corporate governance, budgetary and legal requirements are complied with including inter alia preparation of the annual report, preparation of financial statements, risk management, and financial control procedures, including liaison with the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • Develop the broad strategic direction set by the Board. Advise the Board on all matters pertaining to the management and direction of the Discovery Programme and keep the Chairperson and Board informed of key issues.
  • Formulate and oversee the implementation of the annual Service Level Agreement with the Heritage Council.
  • Effective leadership, direction, management, administration and control of the Discovery Programme, in liaison with the Board, being cognisant of statutory requirements regarding inter alia data protection and health and safety.
  • Steer the Discovery Programme to be a leader in advanced archaeological research.
  • Formulate appropriate strategies and policies that support the work of the Discovery Programme, and maintain and enhance the Discovery Programme's reputation as a centre of excellence for archaeology, while taking account of current legislation and trends both within Ireland and abroad.
  • Manage the appraisal and performance of staff.
  • Plan, monitor and manage research projects, budgets and administrative systems.
  • Lead and coordinate project planning - including future research, progress reporting and troubleshooting.
  • Draft all official policy documents, the annual report and media communications.
  • Foster effective working relationships with the Heritage Council, Government/State bodies, the higher education sector and other organisations and stakeholders, as appropriate.
  • Promote and represent the Discovery Programme publicly.

The Person

The successful candidate will be required to show that they have the following qualifications, experience, and demonstrate that they have the key competencies as listed below.


  • A higher degree (NFQ Level 9) in archaeology/heritage management or an appropriate sector/discipline is essential.
  • A qualification (NFQ Level 7/8) in management/administration is desirable.


  • Extensive relevant senior experience, including successful leadership and administration of complex multi-disciplinary research projects/works.
  • Experience of working with boards.
  • Demonstrate an ability to represent the Discovery Programme with stakeholders at a senior level.
  • Successful management of staff, both as regards archaeological matters and implementing organisational and human resource requirements.
  • Extensive experience in organising and leading project teams, managing and controlling budgets and meeting performance targets.
  • Experience of managing projects/programmes which operate at a range of scales.
  • Proven research management.
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the state of knowledge and current research in Irish archaeology.

The competencies required for this job are as follows, and are further detailed in Appendix A.

  • Leadership & Strategic Direction
  • Judgment & Decision Making
  • Management & Delivery of Results
  • Building Relationships & Communication
  • Specialist Knowledge, Expertise and Self Development

Principal Conditions of Service


The CEO will be paid an annual salary of €72,000.

Annual Leave

In addition to the usual public holidays the annual leave for this position is 32 working days.


The Discovery Programme (Employer) Pension contribution is on a matching basis from 1% up to a maximum of 5% of salary.


The Discovery Programme will use a competency based recruitment process to fill the position of CEO Candidates intending to apply for the position of CEO should acquaint themselves with the Memorandum and Articles of Association (2015) where the company's objectives, constitution, and structure are to be found.

How to Apply

Applications must be made by submitting an email, with the title of the position entered into the subject field of the email, to Aoife Kane

Applications must be submitted as a single document with each of the following three elements included:

  1. A comprehensive CV, detailed as relevant to the position (including publications) and the names and contact details of two referees. This CV must be no longer than four A4 pages.
  2. Key achievements form based on the competency framework (Appendix B).
  3. short cover letter/personal statement (i.e., no more than two A4 pages) outlining why you wish to be considered for the post and why you believe your qualifications, experience and competencies meet the requirements of the position.

Closing date

The closing date for all applications is 3.00pm on Friday 3 May 2019. No applications will be accepted after this time and date.

The Selection Process may include:

  • Short listing of candidates, based on the information contained in their application (cover letter, key achievements form, and CV).
  • A first interview, based on applications.
  • A second round interview.
  • A presentation.
  • Reference check.

Where a presentation is required candidates will be informed of the presentation topic when interview times are being assigned.

The Discovery Programme, Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland is committed to a policy of equal opportunity.

published: 11 April 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.